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Cat Scratching Boards and Mats

Scratching is an important part of a cat’s daily routine. Scratching mats and boards give the cat something disposable to scratch instead of tearing precious furniture and carpets to pieces.

Why Do Cats Scratch?

A cat’s need to scratch things can be very frustrating for cat owners, especially cat owners who also own delicate furniture. Scratching, though, serves several very important purposes for the cat and can’t really be trained out of them. It removes the dead outer layers of the cat’s claws to keep them sharp and healthy. Reaching to scratch things also helps to keep kitty limber by stretching out the paws and the back and shoulder muscles. It even helps your cat to mark its territory, as scent glands in the paws leave behind pheromones on everything it scratches.

Scratching Boards and Mats

You can’t stop a cat from scratching but you can direct it away from your sofa. Giving a cat a dedicated scratching board or mat gives it a way to hone its claws to razor sharpness without destroying anything precious. Boards and mats lie flat, making them especially good for cats who prefer to scratch horizontally. If your cat likes to tear up carpets, a scratching mat makes a great substitute. Cats can be trained to use the mat over time, especially if they are trained from the kitten stage and bribed with treats or catnip.

Cat Scratching Materials

Scratching mats and boards can be made from a few different materials. Corrugated cardboard cat scratching boards are an affordable and popular options for cats. While they can’t be expected to last long, the soft material actually promotes cat health by helping to clean between the claws. It also shreds in a way that cats love. Sisal fabric is another common scratching material. It is tougher than cardboard and the rough texture feels a lot like tree bark, which cats scratch in the wild. Carpet scratchers are also widely used, especially for vertical scratchers. Cats can be very individual and so one cat may totally ignore a scratching material that another cat loves.

Other Cat Scratchers

In the wild, cats can find lots of different surfaces to scratch. Having multiple cat scratchers in the home gives your cat variety and helps to keep their claws out of your upholstery. Using cat scratching posts as well as boards lets the cat enjoy both horizontal and vertical scratching, while different materials provide it with different scratching sensations.

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